25 HCPS 8th graders get big news: They’ll receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University

Henrico, Va. March 18, 2021 — For 25 Henrico County Public Schools eighth graders and their families, Thursday morning was anything but typical.


Each of the middle school students was surprised at school by a prize patrol with the news that they had been selected as “VUU Henrico Scholars.” The 25 students will receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from an HCPS high school in 2026.

Scholarships will cover Virginia Union’s tuition and college-readiness support as students pursue a bachelor’s degree in an area of their choosing. Students will be responsible for room, board and fees.

During an application window in November and December, 116 students applied to be part of the program. In addition to essays and an interview, scholarship recipients were selected based on extracurricular activities; community involvement and leadership; a minimum GPA of 2.5; a statement about their career aspirations and dreams; and letters of recommendation. The selection process also prioritized first-generation college attendees and representation from Henrico County’s five magisterial districts. 


The students will gather at Virginia Union with their future classmates for a celebration the evening of March 31. (Members of the media wishing to attend should contact Virginia Union for details.)

The students won’t have to wait until they arrive as college freshmen to take advantage of the program. In high school, they will:

  • Be assigned a mentor throughout their high school years to help support, advise and prepare them for college.
  • Take part in a weeklong college-readiness and exploration program each summer. 
  • Enjoy regular on-campus experiences, such as sporting and other events.
  • Have access to VUU labs, classrooms and faculty for educational and professional development.
  • Connect with local business leaders in their areas of career interest.

VUU Henrico Scholars recipients:

Brookland
District

George Moody Middle School:

Tiajia Randolph

 

Fairfield
District

Brookland Middle School:

Jayla Henley
Kalani Curry

Fairfield Middle School:

De’Jhonae Sangster
Erica Higginbottom
Ja’Niyah Little
Shykayla Winston

L. Douglas Wilder Middle School:

Chad Young
Eon Fleming
Hezekiah Anderson
Jaden Tatem
Kamari Moore
Mikayla Mines
Preciana Franges
Riyel Waller-Butler

 

Three Chopt 
District

Holman Middle School:

Cesar Espaillat Rojas

Pocahontas Middle School:

Jayla Bledsoe
Joshua Hanna

 

Tuckahoe
District

Quioccasin Middle School:

Isaiah Cousins
Kaiden Ratay
Manas Malwal
Patrick Megaly

Varina
District

John Rolfe Middle School:

Natalia Morales-Gomez
Osman Morales Diaz

Virginia Virtual Academy/John Rolfe Middle School:

MacKenzie Turgeon

Jayla Henley and Kalani Curry pose for photos at Brookland Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.
Jayla Henley and Kalani Curry pose for photos at Brookland Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.
De'Jhonae Sangster, Ja'Niyah Little, Shykayla Winston and Erica Higginbottom pose for photos at Fairfield Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.
De’Jhonae Sangster, Ja’Niyah Little, Shykayla Winston and Erica Higginbottom pose for photos at Fairfield Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.
Eon Fleming, Jaden Tatem, Chad Young, Kamari Moore, Preciana Franges, Riyel Waller-Butler and Mikayla Mines pose for photos at L. Douglas Wilder Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026. Not pictured: Hezekiah Anderson.
Eon Fleming, Jaden Tatem, Chad Young, Kamari Moore, Preciana Franges, Riyel Waller-Butler and Mikayla Mines pose for photos at L. Douglas Wilder Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026. Not pictured: Hezekiah Anderson.
Cesar Espaillat Rojas poses for photos at Holman Middle School Thursday. He was among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.
Cesar Espaillat Rojas poses for photos at Holman Middle School Thursday. He was among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.
Jayla Bledsoe and Joshua Hanna pose for photos at Pocahontas Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.
Jayla Bledsoe and Joshua Hanna pose for photos at Pocahontas Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.
Manas Malwal, Patrick Megaly and Isaiah Cousins pose for photos at Quioccasin Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026. Not pictured: Kaiden Ratay.
Manas Malwal, Patrick Megaly and Isaiah Cousins pose for photos at Quioccasin Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026. Not pictured: Kaiden Ratay.
Natalia Morales-Gomez, Osman Morales Diaz and MacKenzie Turgeon pose for photos at John Rolfe Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.
Natalia Morales-Gomez, Osman Morales Diaz and MacKenzie Turgeon pose for photos at John Rolfe Middle School Thursday. They were among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.
Tiajia Randolph poses for photos at George Moody Middle School Thursday. She was among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.
Tiajia Randolph poses for photos at George Moody Middle School Thursday. She was among 25 HCPS students selected to receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from high school in 2026.